An adventure of a different kind...

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vinyl master
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An adventure of a different kind...

Post by vinyl master » 02 Nov 2019 07:35

Hey guys...I might have mentioned my favorite radio restoration guy, Chris, in the past, seen here...

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A man of many talents, he has worked as an auto mechanic, body shop assistant and classic car restorer, shuttle driver and porter for a couple of car dealerships, caregiver and now, works at one of the local hotels as a shuttle driver and at the same time, is one of the (if not THE) premier "Collections Technicians" for the Stahl's Automotive Museum, here in the Detroit area, specifically Chesterfield, MI...And that's besides being (as I'd mentioned) my favorite resident radio restoration specialist and all-around fix-it guru for anything classic! Anyway, I had a chance to visit him recently at his work site, as the museum is only open Tuesday afternoons and the first Saturday of each month...

Just for the record, he has cut back on the radio repairs a little, but he's been doing some renovations of his work area at home and hopefully will get back into that...He did have another one of his estate sales not so long ago and he said he sold about 200 radios...That morning, he had 90 people lined up outside his door waiting to get in and they parked their cars all over his subdivision! :shock:

I mentioned that he had about 800 radios, but after that sale, it's more like 600 now...When I asked him what the most he ever had in his house at one time was, his answer? 1,100! =D>

In fact, he said he just bought another collection recently that was being parted out by the estate of a deceased man down in Ohio...The family wanted $2,500 for a fairly sizable collection of radios (I don't remember the exact number he said), but he refused...They asked if Chris would take $2,000 for the collection...He still said no...Jokingly, he said that he might entertain it if they went down to $1,000...Surely thinking they'd say no, they actually agreed to the $1,000, so Chris, being on the hook, took the offer and paid them for the collection...He said he was able to get $1,000 for ONE of the radios in that collection, thereby making back his money and then some...Extraordinary, I would say! =D>

In any case, I had a chance to tour the museum with him and a few other guides today and thought I would show you some pics of the place...A warning: There are some extraordinarily COOL things here, if you're a fan of the classic cars and even incredible music machines and assorted Americana, so pay attention! :mrgreen:

AND...If any of you guys are from the Detroit area, I urge you to go check it out in person!! 8)

Anyway, on with the show! =D>

The museum is out near 26 Mile and Gratiot, for those of you familiar with the area...It's located in an industrial park area that you wouldn't think would house a museum, but sure enough, it's there!

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Let's go in, shall we???

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This place doesn't charge an admission fee (yet), but the collection is so worth it to see that you don't mind putting a few bucks into the kitty to keep the legacy going! :)

They do ask that you sign their guestbook, though, to get an idea where people are coming from...

One thing you'll notice when you walk in is the carpeted lobby full of some very unusual musical machines...Keep in mind, guys, that this stuff is from the PRE-turntable era! For instance, check out this 1926 Hupfeld Phonoliszt-Violina...

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Here's a similar one, but rarer...

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You can watch one in action here...



Have any of you guys ever seen an automatic banjo machine? :-k Well, check out this one, a virtual "one-machine band"...A Ramey Banjorchestra from 1914! :)

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Check out this one in action, too...



Rockin', eh??? :D

Then, you guys may have heard of the Regina Music Box...Well, here's a similar Porter model they have on display!

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Here's what one of those music boxes sounds like, too...



Mind you, EVERY thing in this place actually works and runs, too! Pretty spectacular, if you ask me! =D>

You've heard of the old organ grinders, too...Here is one of those German organs made by Hofbauer, complete with monkey!

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Here is a similar-sounding organ made by Hofbauer...



In another corner, there is a Coinola Player piano, for your entertainment...

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You can watch something like that in action here...



You may have seen the Zoltar machine, courtesy of a recent insurance ad or from the movie "Big"...I saw one recently on a trip I took back up north again...

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Well, at Stahl's, there were plenty of vintage fortune-telling machines there, like this one, for instance...

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But, those were just in the main lobby...You've got to go to the showroom floor to see the REAL goodies! So, on we go! :D

And they've got their own wooden bus! :shock:

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The place doesn't just have musical machines, but a wide assortment of cool stuff, including some very rare and desirable classic cars...Here's one from the early 1900's...

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It looks like a Pierce Arrow, but it's not, so if anyone can tell me about the ones I don't know, I'm all ears...The museum staff constantly changes the selection, retiring older cars temporary to make room for new acquisitions or other favorites from their offsite collection...That alone makes you want to come back often to see what's new! :D

Neon signs and clocks dot the walls, as do old gas station signs and memorabilia...Here's good ol' Reddy Kilowatt, for example...Anyone remember him??? :-k

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Up next is a 1911 Ford Model T Torpedo Runabout...

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A significant car in the realms of 20th Century history!

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As you survey the main room, you will see more musical machines, as well, like a few giant key organs...This one happens to be a Gaudin 125 Key Dance Organ...

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A beauty, ain't she??? :-k And the organs are timed to play at various intervals, activated by IPads that control their movements... =D>

That also means that if the IPads have a glitch or freeze up, things can get interesting in a hurry... :-k :lol:

And then, in another corner, more unusual coin amusements from the turn of the 20th Century...

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I showed you Chris' old icebox before, right? :-k

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Well, this place had a couple of their own! :)

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Cool in more ways than one, that's for sure! 8)

But, even cooler is the diner they have in one corner of the building...Outside, you can pose for pics with The Blues Brothers...Of course, not the REAL Blues Brothers, but still fun!

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Here's what the diner looks like from the outside...Bob's Big Boy, just like it was back in the day...

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...complete with an iconic Wurlitzer "bubbler" jukebox...

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...a few vinyl bench seats...

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...and even an old-time soda fountain...Sorry to say, the ice cream is not real, though and they don't serve food... :(

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...but you can view an old menu and reminisce when stuff was cheap! :-k

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And just like in the old days, there's a red convertible parked out in front! :D

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I'm not sure the model of this one, a new arrival, so any car guys out there, feel free to answer with your best guesses... :)

Here's another music machine on another wall...

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And then, this one is also new...Have any of you guys ever seen a VW Beetle, made out of wrought iron??? Well, they've got one! :D

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Works of art, indeed! 8)

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And then, there is this humongous Mortier 97 Key Dance Organ...

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Here's a closeup of it, too...

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It isn't just old-fashioned cars, either...They have some European models and some unusual vehicles, like this Zundapp Janus from 1958, for instance...

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Here's another look at it...

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If you can believe it, the gas tank and engine are located in the middle of the car, which is very odd, to say the least...And you can get in from either end! :D A fascinating design, nonetheless... :-k

I know some of you guys are biker buffs, so if you can tell me what model this one is, I'd love to know! =D>

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It's certainly got cool written all over it! 8)

Anyone remember the days of radiator emblems and hood ornaments? Well, they've got quite a collection of those, too!

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And then, for all you music lovers and 78' aficionados, a whole lineup of Wurlitzer jukeboxes, for your listening and viewing pleasure, like this one, for example...

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Or these!! :shock:

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And I wouldn't be the music nut I am if I didn't show you what's on 'em, right??? :wink:

Well, take a look at the various selections, apropos to the time these would've been out and running...They still operate flawlessly, by the way...

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Here's another "bubbler"...

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An odd design here, too...

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...but a fabulous playlist! :D

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Love all those Spike Jones selections! :wink:

This one has to be one of my favorites! The white light really stands out! =D>

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And again, a cavalcade of more great music!

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A couple more for you...

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And even Elvis Presley on one of those!

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The funny thing is...People are warned not to touch those machines via signs virtually everywhere, but if anyone wants to hear a song, just ask one of the many docents and they will assist you...These are timeless, fragile musical time capsules, so a modicum of kid-glove handling is apropos in this case...Of course, another guy who happened to be near me "accidentally" hit one of the buttons, and it started playing "Hound Dog" on 78' and that was the EXACT 45' (with a better picture sleeve!) I bought in the thrift store earlier in the day! :D Coincidence? You be the judge! :-k

Here are a couple more to round things out, too...

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And here's a wild ride for you...This 1951 Wendell Mechanimal Elephant was used in a local drugstore promotion back in the day and still works to shuttle those kiddies around! =D>

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They even have a replica of the actual bar that would've been on the Titanic itself...Thank goodness it didn't "sink" into obscurity... :wink:

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Of course, maybe you like your bar and humidor with you on the road...Well, they have a car for that, too...

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And then, back to the "Titanic", a replica of the actual ship, as well!

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And then, if you love vintage gaming machines, I'm sure this place has a slot for you! :wink:

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They do have one Rolls Royce, and it's this yellow 1912 Silver Ghost...

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A rarity is this red beauty, made by German manufacturer Messerschmitt...A KR200, I think, but correct me if I'm wrong... :-k

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One of my favorites is this 1948 Graham Hollywood sedan...

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And then, we have an icon of the 60's...The infamous Volkswagen Microbus! :D

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Complete with the requisite trailer for those long camping trips, as well! =D>

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Another rare car is this 1954 Kaiser Darrin...

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In fact, everywhere you look in this place, there is something beautiful! =D>

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You've heard of certain cars described as boats (My grandmother had an Olds Delta 88 that would fit that bill!), but this 1924 Delage GL Skiff Torpedo and it's wooden exterior really reminded me of one!

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Hands down, though, I think one of my favorites of the collection has to be this outlandish, yet understatedly eloquent 1948 Tatra...

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I think this one was another Duesenberg, as they have quite a few of them...

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Another favorite happens to be this midnight blue 1935 Lincoln Model K Lebaron! =D>

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Now, THAT is a classy ride! 8)

My dad used to drive in a local demolition derby back in the day and he and a couple buddies would actually race and rebuild cars to smash up on Friday nights around here, down at the Mt. Clemens race track when that was a thing...He built this classic mini-car that I hope to one day get restored again...It looks more like an old roadster convertible, but he always called it "his little Hupmobile"...Well, it looks nothing like this one...an ACTUAL Hupmobile Aerodynamic from 1934!

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Anyone wanna get into the "rumble" seat here? :-k It makes my heart "flutter" enough to say "WOW!" :lol: (OK, Sorry...Some stereo puns for you guys... :oops: )

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I'm not sure if these were ever really used as taxis, but someone turned a 1961 AMC Metropolitan into one! =D>

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If any of you guys love fishing and driving, imagine doing both in this 1964 Amphicar, which can be used in water and out of water! :D

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Here's another view from the back of the propellers...

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Here are a couple views of their 1912 Stoddard Dayton Fire Chief's Car...

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They even have a 1912 International Harvester M-W Delivery Car...

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"What about a Bugatti?", you might say...Well, what about it??? :wink:

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A beautiful 1934 Type 57 model, in fact, with restored leather seats! :D

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They have some famous movie prop cars, too, like these from the 1965 comedy, "The Great Race"...

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...and this one, signed by Tony Curtis and Natalie Wood themselves! :D

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There is also this 1904 Winton Flyer, featured in Steve McQueen's family film, "The Reivers"...

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More well-known for driving the Mustang in "Bullitt", he was no stranger to the older vehicles, as well...

Back to the classic cars, here is a 1930 Cadillac V16 Phaeton Series 452...

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...and a 1926 Duesenberg Model A Roadster...

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...and more music, courtesy of a Wurlitzer pipe organ...

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Remember the "Burma Shave" signs? Well, they had a few of those on the wall...

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All this walking has me thirsty for some Stubby soda...

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...and although I may have out of gas, they have not run out of gas pumps like these from Sky Chief and Polly Gas, for example...

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Orrr...Who remembers Gilmore Gas and their "blu-green" gasoline??? :-k

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Beauties everywhere, like this 1934 Duesenberg Model J Coupe, which would fit the standard description of a "limousine" back in those days! :D

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And more...

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AND MORE!! 8)

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They even had a few vintage vending machines and coin-operated boxes...Can anyone tell me what was dispensed out of these and where they were used??? :-k

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Take a closer look! :D

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Pretty awesome, no??? 8)

They even have a rare Tucker Torpedo, which i didn't photograph, but can be seen here...

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and here is a mockup of the engine...

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Back to an engine of a different kind...a 1910 Ford Model T Firetruck! :D

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Orrr...There was this 1904 Olds Model "N" French Front Touring Runabout...

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And then, there was lots of "Route 66" memorabilia to get your kicks with! :wink:

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But, time was of the essence and I had to save the rest for another day...

As I was leaving, I noticed this other cool piano...

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...and this very cool mutoscope, similar to Thomas Edison's Kinetoscope, for viewing motion pictures, but more likely a "peep show" fixture...

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Here are some more closeups of that one...

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A fancier version of a View-Master, I guess you could say... 8-[

And then, I've saved the best for last! What do you think is the oldest item in the collection??? :-k

Well, I believe it's this replica 1886 Benz Patent Motorwagen...

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Or viewed from an another angle...

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So cool and a little "steampunk" at the same time! 8)

As I said, there's a lot under the hood of this place...

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But, as time was running out and the music stopped for the day...

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...I was urged to come back another day to soak more of the place in! :D

It really is an incredible treasure here in Southeast Michigan, so if any of you guys are in the area and you want to see something cool, make sure to check out the coolness that is Stahl's Automotive Museum! I'll leave you with one more video of the place (and a look at Chris firing up another beauty at the end!) and a promise to return again soon and share more adventures! Toodle-Oo, for now! :byebye:



So, what did you think of my latest "adventure"??? :-k

Tinkaroo
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Re: An adventure of a different kind...

Post by Tinkaroo » 02 Nov 2019 08:49

That is quite a walk down memory lane VM. Lots of great stuff for everyone to see. 8)

I remember seeing a few of the items from when I was younger.

Definitely a place worth visiting.

Big B5515
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Re: An adventure of a different kind...

Post by Big B5515 » 02 Nov 2019 18:08

Looks like a place I would love to visit, I especially like the collection of music machines, juke boxes, etc., and always enjoy seeing, and hearing them in proper working order. From your description, It would definitely be a good place to just spend a day admiring some old cars, and other reminders of the past, should I ever get a chance to make it up that way.

DasherF
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Re: An adventure of a different kind...

Post by DasherF » 02 Nov 2019 18:39

My Dad would have gone nuts in this place...I know I was, looking at all the pictures (videos later...)... however...

"Then, you guys may have heard of the Regina Music Box...Well, here's a similar Porter model they have on display!" (Page back to the pic...)

Where's the microphone? 8) :lol:

VinyldechezPierre
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Re: An adventure of a different kind...

Post by VinyldechezPierre » 05 Nov 2019 10:37

Thanks for the wonderful tour. Modern cars may make more sense in a lot of ways but they are so ugly for the most part compared to those of the past. My interest in cars comes in part from my great-grandfather who was a car designer/engineer/mechanic/pilot (back then it was not that unusual to do it all) of some reknown althought mostly forgotten now. I know he worked for Delahaye but may have worked for others.

He was also known in the fire fighting world and is mentioned in several museums here in France including one just a few miles from where I live. He designed fire trucks and introduced the first ladder truck in France which he demonstrated at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris by having a fireman climb to the top of the monument on his ladder...

Somewhere I have photos of a tank that he designed, during WW1, that is somewhat weird. I don't remember anyone telling me it was ever put into production though.

Anyway, just to explain my interest. :D

DasherF
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Re: An adventure of a different kind...

Post by DasherF » 05 Nov 2019 12:59

VP...if you have any of those pictures, I for one, would be interested in seeing your great-grandfather's achievements. vinyl master may have startled a thread of a different animal, here, just for an "escape from the escape", eh? 8) :-k

VinyldechezPierre
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Re: An adventure of a different kind...

Post by VinyldechezPierre » 05 Nov 2019 17:17

DasherF wrote:
05 Nov 2019 12:59
VP...if you have any of those pictures, I for one, would be interested in seeing your great-grandfather's achievements. vinyl master may have startled a thread of a different animal, here, just for an "escape from the escape", eh? 8) :-k
vm has a good habit of starting great threads. :D

As for photos, it may be a while since I will have to find them again first. I'm not sure where mine are and my parents', try and imagine 70 to 90 years of photos to go through... My dad has a book about Delahaye in which my great-grandfather is mentioned; from what I remember my dad loaned some documents to the authors but I don't remember what exactly is in the book.

Next time at his place, I'll check out the book and do scans if there is anything of any interest. On one of his wall, my dad has a certificate delivered to his grandfather by Prince Albert the 1st of Monaco for receiving a medal or commendation of some sort. I know it mentions his profession as an engineer bur I'm not sure what it is for. Will ask.

DasherF
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Re: An adventure of a different kind...

Post by DasherF » 05 Nov 2019 18:39

(We'll be hete... =D> 8) :lol: =D> )
...and, yes...he does! =D> =D>

VinyldechezPierre
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Re: An adventure of a different kind...

Post by VinyldechezPierre » 05 Nov 2019 18:42

Ok. I'll try and not forget. Which unfortunately is what I seem to do best these days.

DasherF
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Re: An adventure of a different kind...

Post by DasherF » 05 Nov 2019 20:32

"Space...my final frontier!" :lol:

vinyl master
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Re: An adventure of a different kind...

Post by vinyl master » 06 Nov 2019 04:33

Oh yeah...I do start great threads, don't I? :-k

Of course, I'm sure I've put out a few duds on occasion, too...Par for the course, I say... 8-[

In any case, I'd love to see some pics, too, VP, when and if you find some...Sounds like your great-grandfather was QUITE the accomplished gentleman! =D>

I've told you about a few of my adventures, so maybe you could tell us more about his... :-k

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Re: An adventure of a different kind...

Post by Dutchy » 06 Nov 2019 07:17

I reckon the bike to be a Zundapp

VinyldechezPierre
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Re: An adventure of a different kind...

Post by VinyldechezPierre » 06 Nov 2019 08:47

vinyl master wrote:
06 Nov 2019 04:33
Sounds like your great-grandfather was QUITE the accomplished gentleman! =D>
Well, he was but, if you think about the time, he didn't do anymore than others in that industry. For example, his being a pilot was par for the course back then but when racing became a more serious way of showing off the vehicles, the job was given to pros. I've never seen his name mentioned as a pilot in any article or book about the make.

Delahaye built cars, trucks and fire equipment but I imagine most makes did the same back then. At least cars and trucks anyway. The tank was probably a kind of fluke because of the war.

As for stories, I don't really have any. My family on that side was not very talkative. A few skeletons in the closet that should never be talked about being the probable reason. :D And now, there is no one left to ask.

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Re: An adventure of a different kind...

Post by Dutchy » 06 Nov 2019 14:21


vinyl master
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Re: An adventure of a different kind...

Post by vinyl master » 06 Nov 2019 15:52

Dutchy wrote:
06 Nov 2019 14:21
Dutchy wrote:
06 Nov 2019 07:17
I reckon the bike to be a Zundapp

https://cdn.zund-app.com/image-uploads/ ... 121830.jpg


Or
https://zundapp.one/zundapp-models/13/z ... pe-511-324
I figured one of the bike enthusiasts here on VE would have an answer and sure enough, I wasn't wrong...Thanks again, Dutchy! =D> It's a nice example of a Zundapp, too, ain't it??? :-k

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